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BioBuzz: UMB Startup Breethe Acquired by Abiomed to Commercialize Wearable Artificial Lung System

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

The Deal Marks Another Successful Exit Supported by UM Ventures

May 26, 2020

Breethe, a company built on technology licensed out of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB), was acquired by Abiomed, a publicly-traded medical device company located in Massachusetts, in late April 2020. Financials were not disclosed, but the deal represents another UMB success story that received early backing from the tech transfer program UM Ventures, which is a joint initiative launched out of UMB and the University of Maryland, College Park in 2012.

In 2015, Breethe obtained exclusive rights to UMB IP for the development of a portable extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) device invented by Breethe’s Founder and well-known University of Maryland School of Medicine professor in pulmonary transplant surgery, Dr. Bartley Griffith. Dr. Griffith’s ECMO device is novel in that it is a portable, wearable, “out-of-hospital” artificial lung system that removes carbon dioxide and adds oxygen to a patient’s blood without the need to be hooked up to larger, bulkier, immobile equipment.

UMB invested in Breethe via UM Ventures, providing $100K of funding early in the company’s history. Breethe was one of UM Ventures’ first investments and marks the sixth UMB startup to exit in the last three years. Through UM Ventures, UMB invested in four of these companies, including Breethe, Harpoon, Living Pharma, and SurgiGyn.

Read the full story from BioBuzz.